By SUSAN K. SMITH
Crazy Faith Ministries
The racist attack made by President Donald Trump on four Democratic congresswomen, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from New York, Rashida Tlaib from Michigan, Ilhan Omar from Minnesota and Ayanna Pressley from Massachusetts – all of whom are American citizens – has exposed the vileness of his racism and his lack of concern for the pain the remarks are causing many people of color who were born in this country.
While there is no admission of the remarks being racist, the truth of the matter is that this president has exposed the ugliness of the white supremacist ideology on which his campaign has always rested. He is unconcerned that he is being correctly called a racist and in fact says that his remarks were not racist at all.
With unmitigated audacity, this president and his supporters have attacked these women who have dared criticize this president, his policies and the way the government is being run. They have been called “communists” – a go-to accusation when White people think Black people are showing too much chutzpah – or racist, anti-Semitic and worse by Trump supporters, when what these congresswomen have been doing is honoring the oath of office they took to protect the Constitution and to represent those who elected them.
It seems that while Trump supporters laud him for “telling like it is” according to his worldview, culture and experiences, they cannot and will not accept these women doing the same. The spirit of white supremacy is that people of color are “allowed” to participate in the government and to make money. If they are dissatisfied about anything, they are “out of order” and should just “shut up and dribble” as Fox commentator Laura Ingraham said about LeBron James, who protested police brutality and other inequities suffered by Black people, as noted in an NPR article.
In light of the backlash the president has gotten because of his statements, he has instead dug in his heels and justified his statement, saying that the four women “can leave” this country if they do not like what is going on.
The fact of the matter is that every American has roots in other countries, save the Native Americans who the White settlers killed once they landed on these shores. This country was not “founded” by White people; there were Native Americans and Muslims here when the Europeans arrived. Muslims were here 100 years before any Whites arrived, so if anyone should be invited to leave, it would and should be the masses.
Trump’s ancestors came from Germany; his wife is an immigrant who still speaks broken English. The president’s invitation for those who don’t like what’s going on should be extended to him and his family as well.
It is at once maddening and insulting to hear this kind of racist rhetoric coming out of the White House, and even more maddening that none of the GOP have come out against him. This country is showing its underbelly, which has, from the moment of the Europeans’ arrival here, been tainted by white supremacist beliefs.
The first settlers believed God had ordained them to come to this land to make a country for White people. They believed that God ordained and sanctioned their genocide of Native Americans, and they believed that God ordained and sanctioned the enslavement of African people. They still believe it, and are thus unable to feel compunction or contrition for the way they treat people of color. For them, they are in the right, and they feel emboldened by God.
The four African American women Trump attacked will be all right; they are fearless and have been toughened up by having been forced to live within the jaws of white supremacy since they have been alive. They will survive and thrive. They will not back down, and they will not shrink for the truth, which Black people live on a daily basis.
But what a sad day for this country when a president has the gall to spout such racism with all of the acrimony and hatred it includes – while the GOP stands sheepishly by, too weak to say anything.
America is in serious trouble.
Rev. Dr. Susan K. Smith is the founder and director of Crazy Faith Ministries. She is available for speaking. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.